sound of thunder vocab, handout

“A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury
Quiz Monday the 16th
1. Quaver:
The sign on the wall seemed to quaver under a film of sliding warm water.
(Definition: to quiver, tremble or shake)
2. Aurora:
He glanced across the vast office at a mass and tangle, a snaking and
humming of wires and steel boxes, at an aurora that flickered now orange,
now silver, now blue.
(Definition: A brilliant display of bands or folds of variously colored light)
3. Chars
Out of chars and ashes, out of dust and coals, like golden salamanders, the
old years, the green years, might leap.
(Definition: A substance that has been scorched, burned, or reduced to
4. Fled (past tense of flee)
Suns fled and ten million moons fled after them.
(Definition: to pass away swiftly or quickly)
5. Alexander
Remember that Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler—none of them exists.
(Definition: Alexander refers to Alexander the Great, king of Macedon;
conqueror of Greece and Egypt and Persia; founder of Alexandria [356-323
6. Finicky
A Time Machine is a finicky business.
(Definition: fussy, difficult to please)
7. Annihilate
With a stamp of your foot, you annihilate first one, then a dozen, then a
thousand, a million, a billion possible mice!
(Definition: destroy completely)
8. Waxes
Perhaps Europe is forever a dark forest, and only Asia waxes healthy and
(Definition: To increase gradually in size, number, strength, or intensity)
9. Teeming
Perhaps Europe is forever a dark forest, and only Asia waxes healthy and
(Definition: abundantly filled, especially with living things)
10. Infinitesimally
Crushing certain plants could add up infinitesimally.
(Definition: Immeasurably or incalculably minute)
11. Disproportion
A dead mouse here makes an insect imbalance there, a population
disproportion later, a bad harvest further on, a depression, mass starvation,
and finally, a change in social temperament in far-flung countries.
(Definition: lack of proportion or equality)
12. Delirium
Sounds like music and sounds like flying tents filled the sky, and those were
pterodactyls soaring with cavernous gray wings, gigantic bats of delirium
and night fever.
(Definition: frenzied excitement)
13. Resilient
It came on great oiled, resilient, striding legs.
(Definition: able to recover easily to misfortune or change)
14. Sheathed (past tense of sheathe)
Each lower leg was a piston, a thousand pounds of white bone, sunk in thick
ropes of muscle, sheathed over in a gleam of pebbled skin like the mail of a
(Definition: covered)
15. Save
Its eyes rolled, ostrich eggs, empty of all expression save hunger.
(Definition: except)
16. Warily
It moved into the sunlit area warily, its beautifully reptilian hands feeling
the air.
(Definition: carefully, cautiously)
17. Undulate
In the slime, tiny insects wriggled, so that the entire body of the dinosaur
seemed to twitch and undulate.
(Definition: move in a waving manner)
18. Engulfed (past tense of engulf)
A windstorm from the beast’s mouth engulfed them in the stench of slime
and old blood.
(Definition: to flow over and enclose)
19. Mooring
Overhead, a gigantic tree branch broke from its heavy mooring, fell.
(Definition: a place where something is secured into place)
20. Stagnating
They gazed back at the ruined Monster, the stagnating mound, where
already strange reptilian birds and golden insects were busy at the gleaming
(Definition: not advancing or developing)
21. Primeval
Eckels turned slowly to regard the primeval garbage dump, that hill of
nightmares and terror.
(Definition: relating to the earliest ages of history)
22. Taint
Eckels stood smelling of the air, and there was a thing to the air, a chemical
taint so subtle, so slight, that only a faint cry of his subliminal senses
warned him it was there.
(Definition: to affect slightly with something bad)